Chunky chicken salad

Friday, February 27, 2009


I worked for almost 10 years in a certain roast beef restaurant that shall remain nameless but I’m sure you would all recognize the hat. ;) We made THE BEST chicken salad I have ever eaten! (With the exception of my grandmother's of course.) The recipe we used at the restaurant made an enormous amount of chicken salad (as I’m sure you can imagine) so I scaled it down for home use. I left all the ingredients the same.

What you’ll need:

2 large (1 lb/ 16 oz) cans breast meat chicken chunks, drained and rinsed
1 cup (1 large or 2 small) diced red apples with the skins on
1 cup red seedless grapes, rinsed and sliced in half *measure after slicing*
½ cup diced fresh celery
½ cup chopped pecans
1 ½ cups mayonnaise

Put your gloves on because this recipe gets mixed by hand…literally! Add ingredients one at a time into a large bowl ending with the mayonnaise. Add the mayo ½ cup at a time and slightly stir in with a large spoon until you’ve reached desired creaminess. Use more for really creamy chicken salad and less for a dryer chicken salad. Mix it really well with your hands. This ensures that the mayo and the juices from the other ingredients get thoroughly mixed and if you use a spoon to just mix it up a little it will not taste the same I promise. I know because I tried it. Sometimes I’m stubborn. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve on bread with lettuce or topping lettuce in a bowl or stuffed in a pita like in the picture mmm mmm. This makes about 2 ½ pounds of chicken salad or 8 - 10 servings. It can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Cost:
canned chicken chunks - $2.50
apples - $2.25/bag
grapes - $1.99/bunch
celery - $0.99
pecans - $3.00
mayonnaise - $2.50
Total - $10.24

Lemon Yogurt Cookies

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This recipe comes from Quaker Oats and is one of my favorites. I just love lemon cookies!

What you'll need:

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt or lemon low-fat yogurt
2 egg whites or 1 egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups QUAKER® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Lightly spray cookie sheet with no-stick cooking spray or oil lightly.

Beat margarine and 1-1/4 cups sugar until fluffy. Add yogurt, egg whites, lemon peel and vanilla; mix until well blended. Gradually add combined remaining ingredients except powdered sugar; mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.

Heat oven to 375°F.

With lightly floured hands, shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on prepared cookie sheet. Using bottom of glass dipped in sugar, press into 1/8-inch thick circles.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

Sift powdered sugar over warm cookies. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
yogurt - $2.12
oatmeal - $1.59
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
powdered sugar - $1.69
Total - $6.57

Louisiana-Style Shrimp Casserole

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I thought this would be a perfect recipe to post for Fat Tuesday! I got this from the Bisquick version of my Betty Crocker newsletter :) Good stuff! And don't forget your King Cake!

Louisiana-Style Shrimp Casserole

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 50 min
Makes: 4 servings

What you'll need:

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups frozen bell pepper and onion stir-fry (from 1-lb bag)
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons Original Bisquick® mix
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper sauce
12 oz cooked deveined peeled medium shrimp, thawed if frozen, tail shells removed
3/4 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/4 cup milk
1 egg

1. Heat oven to 400°F. In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic, stir-fry vegetables and celery; cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender.

2. Stir 2 tablespoons Bisquick mix into vegetable mixture until blended. Stir in tomatoes, salt, pepper sauce and shrimp. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bubbling and thickened. Pour shrimp mixture into ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish.

3. In small bowl, stir 3/4 cup Bisquick mix, the milk and egg with fork until smooth. Pour over shrimp mixture.

4. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
garlic cloves - $1.12
frozen mixed vegetables - $2.12
celery - $0.99
biscuit mix - $3.00
diced tomatoes - $0.89
1/2 lb 30/40 shrimp - $2.50
milk - $3.99/gallon
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
Total - $10.67

Turkey Polpettone

Monday, February 23, 2009

I believe I told you before that I get the Betty Crocker newsletter sent to my email weekly. I just love the featured recipes they send me and I usually try at least one of them. I got one today that looks absolutely scrumptious so I just had to share it with you. This recipe comes from award-winning TV chef Michael Chiarello and is created with Progresso® panko and Italian style bread crumbs.

Turkey Polpettone

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 45 min
Makes: 4 servings

What you'll need:

For patties:

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup Progresso® Italian style bread crumbs
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt, preferably gray salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 oz whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 4 equal pieces

For coating:

1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 cup Progresso® panko crispy bread crumbs
1 egg

Olive oil for frying

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Place turkey in large bowl. Add remaining burger ingredients except cheese; work in gently by hand. Divide mixture into 8 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into round patty. Top 4 of the patties with a piece of cheese and then with second patty. By hand, press edges together to seal and make patties of even thickness.

2. On separate sheets of waxed paper, place seasoned flour and panko bread crumbs. In shallow bowl, beat egg lightly. Coat patties lightly with flour mixture, next dip into egg and then coat with bread crumbs, pressing crumbs gently onto patties.

3. Heat 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil until 1/8 inch deep. When oil is hot, add patties. Cook about 1 1/2 minutes until nicely browned, then turn and cook other sides 1 to 2 minutes or until browned. Place skillet with patties in oven; bake about 10 minutes until turkey is no longer pink in center.

Make the Most of This Recipe

Michael's Tips

"These highly seasoned turkey burgers have a surprise inside: an oozing nugget of mozzarella. In Italy, polpettone are large meatballs, and you could certainly shape these into balls and simmer them in marinara sauce. Instead, I make them in a burger shape."

Michael Chiarello serves these turkey burgers with his Radicchio Salad, also found on BettyCrocker. He serves any remaining dressing from the salad recipe over these burgers.

Nutrition Information:
1 Serving: Calories 580 (Calories from Fat 280); Total Fat 31g (Saturated Fat 8g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 190mg; Sodium 1170mg; Total Carbohydrate 42g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 3g); Protein 33g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 8%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 15%; Iron 20% Exchanges: 3 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 3 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 3

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Cost:
ground turkey - $3.50
dry bread crumbs - $0.99
onion - $1.12
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
mozzarella - $3.49/block
Total - $9.28

A food lovers giveaway!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Today I want to tell you about a giveaway on a great blog I follow. Coco over at Screaming For Chocolate is giving away a one year subscription to Bon Appetit!

<-- Click on the button to visit Coco and find out all the details and then leave her a comment to enter her giveaway today! The chance to win this great prize ends on February 25 at midnight! Hurry! :) You'll be really happy you did I promise.

Easy Succotash

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Using fresh ingredients in this recipe makes all the difference.

What you’ll need:

2 c (about 1 lb) fresh lima beans
4 c (about 8 ears) fresh corn, cut from cob
3 Tbl butter
½ c whipping cream
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Bring a heavy saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add beans and boil about 15 minutes or until almost tender; drain and return to pan. Mix in remaining ingredients and stir well. Reduce heat to low and cook and stir about 10 minutes or until corn is tender. Serves 6.

Cost:
lima beans - $2.85/lb
corn - $1.99
butter - $1.75/pound
whipping cream - $1.49
Total - $7.85

Quick goulash

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This recipe is great when you have to throw dinner together in a hurry. It can be ready to serve in 15 minutes!

What you’ll need:

1 lb ground beef
½ medium onion, minced
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
1 large (16 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
¾ c ketchup
2 Tbl brown sugar
8 oz (1 cup) macaroni noodles, cooked and drained

Brown grown beef with seasonings and onions. Drain grease and return to pan. Add the canned tomatoes and brown sugar. Mix well. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in macaroni noodles and ketchup. Stir and cook until heated through. Serves 4 - 6.

Cost:
ground beef - $2.00/lb
onion - $1.12
diced tomatoes - $0.89
ketchup - $1.89/big bottle
brown sugar - $1.89/ 2 pound bag
elbow macaroni - $1.75
Total - $5.17

Very cherry cupcakes

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I just got done making these as a Valentine’s Day surprise for my hubby. I hope he likes them (I really already know that he loves them :-D) I think you’ll like them too! This recipe makes & frosts 13 cupcakes.



What you’ll need:



For cake:

2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 c oil
1 can cherry pie filling with about ¼ c set aside

Mix together by hand flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in oil and eggs. Mixture will be crumbly. Using an electric mixer (or a blender works too), beat in cherry pie filling. Pour into cupcake tins that have either been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or lined with cupcake liners. Bake @ 350 degrees for about 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. This recipe can be made into a sheet cake (9 x 13 inch); just increase the baking time to 30 minutes. Mmmm look at that cherry poking out of there!


Let cool on wire rack in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely before frosting.


For frosting:

¼ c butter
4 - 5 c + 1 - 2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
The reserved cherry pie filling (¼ c)

Cream butter and vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar (1 c at a time) until desired consistency. Beat in cherry pie filling (this will make the frosting thinner again). Beat in remaining powdered sugar ½ c at a time until desired consistency is again reached.

Cost:
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
powdered sugar - $1.69
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
butter - $1.75/pound
pie filling - $1.99
Total - $3.61

Love is in the air…A Valentine’s Day dinner

Friday, February 13, 2009


Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day ♥ I thought for today I would post an entire meal instead of just one recipe. I’m giving you two main dishes to choose from. Check out the total at the bottom. It’s a lot less than you’d pay at the restaurant for all this!

The main dishes:

Orange glazed chicken

What you’ll need:

1/3 c sweet orange marmalade
1 Tbl hot mustard
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
1 - 2 lb Chicken pieces (which pieces are your choice; I prefer breasts but this is good on all parts)
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover a 1” deep baking dish with foil. Lightly oil the foil. Wash & pat dry chicken pieces & salt and pepper; roast, skin side up, 30 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown. While the chicken is baking, mix together remaining ingredients. Remove chicken from oven and spoon marmalade mixture over all pieces. Return to oven. Change heat to broil and broil chicken 3 to 5 minutes or until the glaze is bubbly. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Marinated steaks

This recipe will make more rub than is needed for one meal. Store the leftovers in an airtight container up to 90 days.

What you’ll need:

Steaks
¼ c pepper
¼ c salt
¼ c garlic powder
2 Tbl paprika
¼ c onion powder
2 Tbl meat tenderizer
2 Tbl season salt
1 Tbl celery salt
Soy sauce

In a large zipper bag mix together all ingredients except steaks and soy sauce. Using washed hands rub the mixture over the steaks. Rub it in really good! Rub a small amount of soy sauce over the steaks. Place in a different zipper bag. PLACE IN REFRIGERATOR FOR 24 HOURS, turning occasionally. I’m screaming at you because I want you to get it in the refrigerator today so it will be ready for dinnertime tomorrow =) Bake steaks @ 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until they’re cooked through.

The sides:

Tossed green salad with red wine vinaigrette dressing

What you’ll need:

1 bag mixed greens or desired salad greens
1 pkg croutons
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
¼ c balsamic vinegar
2 Tbl red wine vinegar
¼ c water
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ c extra virgin olive oil
¼ c canola oil

Place washed & dried greens in a bowl. Toss in croutons. In a separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients except oils. Slowly whisk in oils. If you have a salad dressing shaker you can mix this up in it. Be sure to add the oils slowly, mixing well after each addition. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Herb roasted potatoes

What you’ll need:

10 - 15 red potatoes, washed and patted dry
¼ c butter, melted
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp chervil
1 tsp chives
1 tsp tarragon

Cut potatoes in half. Brush the cut sides of each potato with melted butter. In a small bowl, mix together herbs. Place buttered potatoes on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with herbs. Bake @ 325 for about an hour or until potatoes are tender and lightly browned.

The after dinner drink:

A fuzzy thing

What you’ll need:

2 oz vodka
1 oz triple sec
1 ½ oz peach schnapps
1 splash orange juice
1 splash pineapple juice
Sweet & sour mixer (this can be found with the alcohol or on the drink aisle in most grocery stores including Walmart. It is also at the liquor store.)

Pour the alcohol first, then add the juice. Add a little sweet & sour mixer but not too much or it will overpower the juices. Shake before serving and make sure you don’t use too much ice. This drink just needs a little.

The dessert:

Cherry cobbler with crumb topping

What you’ll need:

1 can cherry pie filling
2 Tbl butter
½ c quick cooking oatmeal
¼ c flour
½ c sugar
2 - 4 Tbl chopped pecans

Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour cherry pie filling into casserole dish. In a medium bowl, mix together butter, oatmeal, flour, sugar and pecans until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of cherry pie filling. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Cost:
marmalade - $2.12
mustard - $0.79
soy sauce $1.89
lemons - $1.99/4
chicken breast - $5.00/4 pack
sirloin steak - $4.50
seasonings - $3.50
lettuce - $0.89/head
croutons - $1.19
vinegar - $1.19
olive oil - $3.89
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
potatoes - $2.00/5 lb bag
butter - $1.75/pound
vodka - $2.50/small bottle
schnapps - $2.50
orange juice - $2.99/gallon
pineapple juice - $2.50
mixer - $3.25
pie filling - $1.99
oatmeal - $1.59
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
pecans - $3.00
Total - $28.16 with steak
$30.70 with chicken breasts

♥ Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! ♥

Everything in Moderation: Death by Chocolate

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Everything in Moderation: Death by Chocolate

Hey guys! Be sure to check out Everything in Moderation for some great Valentine's recipes! And check out the Triple-Chocolate Cherry Bars recipe for another great Valentine's Day dessert!

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Triple-Chocolate Cherry Bars

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

By now most of you know I'm a cookin' fool :) If it has to do with cooking I'm probably signed up. One of my favorite things is the Betty Crocker newsletter. I get great recipes sent right to my email. I got one of those newsletters yesterday and totally fell for the picture of Triple-Chocolate Cherry Bars. I'm going to have to make them now! Because I thought they looked so good and Valentine's Day being right around the corner, I decided to share the recipe with you even though it's one I haven't tried yet. I will definetely let ya'll know how they turn out!


What you'll need:

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® chocolate fudge cake mix
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
2 eggs, beaten
½ bag (12-oz size) miniature semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
1 container Betty Crocker® Whipped chocolate frosting

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease and flour 15x10x1-inch or 13x9-inch pan, or spray with baking spray with flour.

2. In large bowl, gently mix dry cake mix, pie filling, eggs and chocolate chips with rubber scraper; break up any undissolved cake mix by pressing with scraper. Carefully spread in pan.

3. Bake 15x10x1-inch pan 25 to 30 minutes, 13x9-inch pan 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Frost with frosting. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.

Special Touch
A dazzling drizzle of melted white chocolate makes these bars look even more special.

Variation
Make Triple-Chocolate Strawberry Bars by using strawberry pie filling instead of the cherry.

Did You Know...
Shiny metal pans are preferred for making bars because they reflect the heat away from the bars, preventing the crust from getting too brown. If using dark nonstick or glass baking pans, follow the manufacturer's directions, usually reducing the oven temperature 25°F.

Cost:
boxed cake mix - $1.29
pie filling - $1.99
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
chocolate chips - $2.50
frosting - $1.29
Total - $6.00

Chicken alfredo with mini garlic loaves

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This was supper last night and it was delicious!

What you'll need:

2 c chicken cut into pieces (this can be any chicken you’d like to use. Just make sure it’s boneless and skinless)
1 pkg dry alfredo mix & ingredients needed to mix it up (1 c milk + 3 Tbl butter)
½ pkg (1 c) penne noodles
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided into 1 c, ¾ c and ¼ c
4 mini sub rolls (these can be found in the bakery)
½ c butter
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp Italian seasoning

For the chicken alfredo:
Cook the chicken in a small amount of butter until cooked through. Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain and put in a large bowl. Cook alfredo sauce according to package directions. Add the chicken and alfredo sauce to the bowl of noodles and stir well. Stir in ¾ c of mozzarella and pour into a baking dish. Top with 1 c of mozzarella. Bake @ 400 degrees for about 10 minutes (just until the cheese melts). You don’t need any other seasonings in this dish; there are plenty in the alfredo sauce. Feeds 4.

For the mini garlic loaves:
Slice the rolls in half. Mix together butter, garlic powder & Italian seasoning. Spread on tops of each roll half. Place under the broiler for about 8 minutes or just until the tops are starting to crisp. Sprinkle ¼ c of mozzarella evenly across the rolls and return to oven. Broil an additional 3 - 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Makes 8 halves.

Cost:
canned chicken chunks - $2.50
alfredo sauce mix - $0.69
penne noodles - $1.89
shredded cheese - mozzarella - $2.85
prepared sub rolls - $2.50/bag
butter - $1.75/pound
Total - $7.31

Dirt cups

Monday, February 9, 2009

I got to thinking about Valentine’s Day and celebrations that we had when my kids were little. My kids have always liked the odder things lol I guess they’re just like me. Dirt cups were always one of their very favorite treats and they’re super easy to make. If you have any creepy crawlers fans these will be a big hit with them I promise!

What you’ll need:

1 pkg chocolate pudding mix (I use instant but you can use the cooked type just make sure you let the pudding cool completely before putting the cups together)
Milk to make the pudding
10 - 15 Oreo or other chocolate sandwich cookies
1 pkg gummy worms

Prepare pudding according to directions. Place cookies in a zipper close baggie and then in between two thick towels. Beat them with a hammer or a rolling pin until they are crushed. That’s fun =) Fill a plastic cup about ¾ of the way full with pudding. Top with dirt: crushed cookies. Stick a worm (or several worms if your kids are like mine) into the dirt. Makes 4 dirt cups.

These are also cute made in miniature plastic flower pots! Just make sure they’re cleaned first.

Cost:
pudding - $0.49/ box
milk - $3.99/gallon
chocolate sandwich cookies - $2.29
gummy worms - $1.99
Total - $4.37/$1.09 per cup

Italian Vegetable Soup

Saturday, February 7, 2009

To make this vegetable soup a vegetarian dish just substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Also I always make my own broth using bouillon cubes but the canned broth is great too.

What you’ll need:

3 ½ c chicken broth
1 medium - large potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
½ c frozen peas
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp pepper
½ c small shell pasta, cooked and drained
1 can (14-½ oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the pasta and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the pasta and tomatoes. Cook and stir about 10 minutes or until it is heated through. Feeds 6.

Cost:
bouillon cubes - $1.89/jar of 20
potatoes - $2.00/5 lb bag
onion - $1.12
fresh carrots - $1.19
celery - $0.99
frozen peas - $1.68
seashell pasta - $1.89
diced tomatoes - $0.89
Total - $6.20

Easy chicken and dumplings

Friday, February 6, 2009

I usually make this recipe with the leftover chicken that we have after I bake a chicken. We usually only eat half of it as baked chicken. It’s a really delicious way to use the leftovers.

What you’ll need:

4 boneless, skinless baked chicken breasts OR ½ baked chicken, deboned and skinned OR 1 can chicken chunks
1 large can or 2 small cans cream of mushroom soup
1 large can or 2 small cans cream of chicken soup
1 small can sweet peas, drained
1 can sliced carrots, drained and chopped up
1 c milk
Pepper to taste

For dumplings:

1 c biscuit mix
1 egg
½ c milk

In a large pot over medium heat combine all of the ingredients except for the dumpling ingredients one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Do not add salt. There’s already a lot of salt in the other ingredients. Cook, stirring often, until it comes to a boil. Meanwhile mix together dumpling ingredients in a medium bowl. Mixture will be sticky. Mix just until combined. Using a large spoon, drop the dumpling mixture over the top of the chicken mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 10 - 12 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through. Feeds 5.

Cost:
chicken breast - $5.00/4 pack
cream of mushroom soup - $0.89
cream of chicken soup - $0.69
sweet peas - $0.99
carrots - $0.89
milk - $3.99/gallon
biscuit mix - $3.00
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
Total - $10.82/$5.82 using leftover chicken

Roasted pork loin

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Apples and sweet potatoes make this dish. Delicious!

What you’ll need:

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 (3 lb) boneless pork loin
6 large apples, cored, quartered and then the quarters cut in half
1 medium onion, cut into ½ inch wedges
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp allspice
1 Tbl brown sugar
¾ c apple juice
1 Tbl butter or olive oil

For the rub:

1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dry mustard
½ tsp allspice
1 tsp sage
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the sweet potatoes in lightly salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Set aside. Cover the surface of the pork loin with the rub. Rub it in really well. You want the flavors to cook into the meat. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the butter/oil. Sear the pork in the pan for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the remaining ingredients except the juice and sweet potatoes. Sauté until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the apple mixture and place in the bottom of a small roasting pan. Set the pan aside (you're not done with it yet) Add the sweet potatoes to the apple mixture and stir to combine. Place the pork on top of that mixture. Return the skillet to the burner; add the juice and bring to a boil, scraping up all the brown bits. Pour over the meat and apples. Place in oven and roast until the meat is cooked through, about 50 - 60 minutes. Baste the pork occasionally with the pan juices, adding a little water if necessary. After cooking allow the meat to rest about 10 minutes before cutting into slices. Feeds 6.

Cost:
sweet potatoes - $1.99/lb
pork loin - $2.25/lb
apples - $2.25/bag
onion - $1.12
garlic cloves - $1.12
apple juice - $1.99
Total - $12.97

Southern style collard greens

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Let me tell you a secret. I hate collard greens. I also hate ham hocks. But put the two of them together and I love them! Isn't that odd? This recipe is so easy that it's almost NOT a recipe but I'm going to post it because I know one day a long time ago I had no idea how to cook collard greens :)

What you'll need:

1 lb ham hocks
3 qt water
5 lb collard greens, washed, stems removed
1 Tbl sugar
Salt and pepper

Place water and ham hocks in a large pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook until meat is tender (approximately 1 hour). Cut collard leaves in half and put in pan. Add sugar. Stir well. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer on medium heat until collards are tender (approximately 2 hours). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cornbread. Feeds 4 - 6.

Cost:
ham hocks - $3.89
collard greens - $1.12/lb
Total - $9.49

Valentine's Rice Krispie treats

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I found this recipe on the Kellogg's Rice Krispies website. I just had to share it with you. I love Rice Krispie treats and these are just darling for Valentine's Day.




Prep Time: 15 minutes • Total Time: 35 minutes • Servings: 12

What you'll need:

* 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
* 1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
* - OR -
* 4 cups miniature marshmallows
* 6 cups Rice Krispies®
* Canned frosting or decorating gel
* Assorted candies

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan lined with foil and coated with cooking spray. Cool.

4. Remove from pan. Remove foil. Decorate with frosting and/or candies. To serve cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:
In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 thru 4 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

Notes:
  • For best results, use fresh marshmallows.
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows.
  • Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.
  • Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
Cost:
butter - $1.75/pound
marshmallows- $1.09
breakfast cereal - $2.50/box
frosting - $1.29
candy coated chocolates - $1.50
Total - $4.51

Apple empanadas

Monday, February 2, 2009

I told you yesterday I would post another empanada recipe today. These are fried and taste just like little apple pies! So yummy!

What you’ll need:

For the pastry:

2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 c shortening
6 - 7 Tbl water
1 egg, beaten

For the filling:

2 large apples, peeled and diced
½ c apple cider
½ c sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbl cornstarch
1/8 c raisins (optional)

For topping:

¼ c sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Stir in water until completely moistened. Divide pastry into 2 equal portions. Roll out each to about ¼” thickness. Cut into circles with a 3-½" biscuit or cookie cutter (or a glass if you don‘t have cookie/biscuit cutters). In a medium saucepan, mix together apples, cider, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins if you are using them. Cook over low heat until apples are soft. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with enough water to form a thin consistency; stir into apple mixture and cook until it thickens, usually about 5 minutes. Brush pastry circles with beaten egg. Place a small spoonful of apple mixture in center of each circle. Fold pastry over filling to form a half circle. Press edges together with a fork to seal. Place several empanadas in hot oil at a time, cooking until the first side is golden brown. Turn over and cook second side until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle tops of empanadas with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Makes 12 - 15 empanadas.

Cost:
flour - $2.12/5 pound bag
eggs - $1.09/ dozen
apples - $2.25/bag
apple cider - $2.85
sugar - $1.99/4 lb bag
cinnamon - $1.85
cornstarch - $1.29
raisins - $1.12/box
Total - $3.18

Easy beef empanadas

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I just love empanadas and these are super simple. Canned biscuits make it so easy although I do like making my own dough too. Maybe tomorrow I’ll post a different type of empanada with the homemade dough. =)

What you’ll need:

1 lb ground beef
1 garlic clove
1 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
½ c chopped onion
8 oz (1 c) grated cheddar cheese
1 c salsa, any variety you prefer
2 cans of refrigerated biscuits

Brown the ground beef in a frying pan adding the salt and pepper just before done. Drain and allow to cool. In a large bowl mix the corn, onions, cheese, and salsa, then add the cooled beef mixing carefully so not to break up all the cheese. Roll the biscuits out flat to about 2 ½ times their original size. Spoon about ¼ cup of the mixture onto the center of each circle being careful not the cover the edges. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges closed. Make sure the edges are sealed well or your filling will ooze out while it’s baking! Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake @ 375 degrees until lightly browned, usually about 6 minutes but times may vary. Just watch them closely and when they are browned remove from oven. Serve warm. Makes 12 - 16 empanadas depending on how much filling you use on each one.

Cost:
ground beef - $2.00/lb
garlic cloves - $1.12
whole kernel corn - $0.40
onion - $1.12
shredded cheese - cheddar - $1.50
salsa - $1.59
canned biscuits - $1.09/4 pack
Total - $6.11

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